PLEASE help me find my mindset again!!!
God, I'm having the same issue, and it's exacerbated by being out of work and being home too much during the day. I went off plan a year ago, when my job changed, my Grandpa died, my Mom moved in with us, and we had to move quickly to accomodate her.
I just haven't been able to keep on track since. And now I get to add job hunting and getting ready to go get back to earning my Masters, to the whole bad schedule thing. I do ok during the day, if I keep myself busy (and out of the house) but if I'm sitting for any length of time, or between dinner and bed, I have a REALLY hard time not munching!3
I somewhat lost my diet thread leading up to Christmas. After several days of total (intentional) break from dieting, it was super hard to get back to my 1750 calories. I was suddenly constantly hungry in a way I hadn't been in many months, like real stomach growling at night and such. It's amazing how that hunger signaling and craving had been tamped down by my diet, but even more amazing how fast and persistently and insistently it returned; it only took a few days of old-style overeating to bring it all back.
I doubt there's a magic solution for this, but what I did is acknowledge that going from God knows how many thousands of calories over target right to 1750 wasn't working. So on the 28th I aimed for 2250, hit it, then went for 2150 the next day, hit it, and so on, until I got back down to 1750. This seems to have worked because I'm now back on my diet. I think a little extra food, removed in stages, really helped.
I think next year I will log and try to be at least semi-responsible with the food on the holidays. Not sure full-bore binging helps anything.8
I’ve been using this site a loooong time. I fell off for a bit during a stressful year, but I’m back, and I’ve seen it all.
Some advice: move dinner up. I’m up at 6, walk for an hour before I have to get my daughter up for school, then it’s coffee at 9, lunch between 12-1, a small snack (usually a Quest bar) at 3, and dinner at 6 to be asleep by 9-10. Spacing your meals is key.
So is getting enough sleep. Are you tired when you eat at night? I have a bad habit of reaching for food when I’m tired. Instead, I now grab a Propel water. It’s got a bit of sweet flavor, and some B vitamins to give me a little push of energy.
You will be less hungry if you keep moving. It’s counterintuitive, but true. I take a short, 10-minute walk around my house, just pacing, really, when I’m tempted to munch.
But mostly, sugar is just really addicting. The first few days without it are HARD. But once it’s out of your system, life gets easier. Plan healthy meals. Avoid sugar as much as possible. And just know that this too shall pass.2
Start by eating at maintenance for a bit.
Maintenance, not surplus.
Then gently lower.
And of course... log what you're going to eat before you do so and evaluate if you can afford it at your maintenance! 🤔 ✋
I agree with @PAV8888 but that is not really a surprise.
To his advice I add:
1) Do not allow yourself to overreact or make this a bigger deal than it is. Try to think of this as happening to a friend instead of to yourself and make decisions based on what advice you would give to someone else.
2) Make sure the food you are having a hard time moderating is not in plain sight. You do not want it advertising itself to you.
3) When you log the food before you eat it and see that it will put you over read it out loud. Verbalizing an unwanted action makes it more real.
If you have kids in the house that have not returned to school and/or you have not yet returned to work you may be internally fighting the notion that the holidays are over. This may end on its own as soon as normal schedules resume.3
Well, yeh, the 5:30 idea didn't work last night. Lol I probably ate another 300 cal. right before bed.
Of course, you all have great ideas and suggestions but when it comes to turning your brain around, it doesn't seem that those work very well. My body listens to a whole different voice. The brain is what I need to conquer at the moment so I need to figure out how to get back to "I can do this" mode. *sigh*
I'd like to think my problem lies in the fact that I still have triggers in the house, leftover from the holidays, but there'll always be triggers in the house if what I truly want to do at the moment, is eat. I need to find that brain switch and flip it back to positive instead of negative.
Sept. 2018 I weighed 135, by April 2019 I weighed 160. I don't want to do that this year.
The reason I picked 5:30 as a cut-off time is because I know, for me, those are my danger hours so figured if I could just say no more to food, then I'd work through it. But then my no more turned into maybe 1, then I'll have another, etc.
I'll have to figure out what my maintenance calories would be and start there, plus tomorrow is grocery day and my plan is to purge the house of everything leftover from the holidays once and for all, refill with fresh, exciting healthier foods. That 1/2 box of Wheat Thins is still calling my name. But my dh, bless his heart, hid his leftover Champlain chocolate from his stocking. How does he eat 1 piece?? That Santa would've been annihilated within 10 minutes.
If you lose weight on an MFP-set calorie goal at the rate MFP predicts, on average, you can get a maintenance calorie estimate by setting MFP goals to "maintain weight", and that should be pretty close.
If not, do some arithmetic:
Go back to the last period of around 4 weeks when you were logging quite consistently (doesn't necessarily have to be exactly at your goal calories, or even losing weight; what's important is logging for all the days).
Add up all the calories logged for that 4 week period. (If you missed logging some days, assume you ate your average number of calories each of those days, unless you know in your heart you were way over or under those days; if that, just make an educated guess).
Take your starting weight at the beginning of the 4-week period, and subtract your ending weight at the end. This will give you a positive number if you lost weight, a negative number if you gained. Whatever the number, multiply it by 3500 (the approximate number of calories in a pound).
Add the calories eaten and the calories from the pounds/fractions of body weight change. (Note that if you gained weight over the period, you want to be adding the negative number of bodyweight calories, which is the same as subtracting the same numeric absolute value - does that make sense? You know, 150 + (-100) = 50, same as 150 - 100 = 50: that kind of thing.)
Divide that calorie total by the number of days in those 4 weeks. That's your approximate maintenance calories on a TDEE basis (includes exercise effect).0
You might find this podcast on creating good habits and doing away with bad habits useful: https://www.npr.org/2019/12/11/787160734/creatures-of-habit-how-habits-shape-who-we-are-and-who-we-become
For more concrete action steps: this book on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for overeating was available in my library system, so perhaps yours as well.
The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person
Can thinking and eating like a thin person be learned, similar to learning to drive or use a computer? Beck (Cognitive Therapy for Challenging Problems) contends so, based on decades of work with patients who have lost pounds and maintained weight through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Beck's six-week program adapts CBT, a therapeutic system developed by Beck's father, Aaron, in the 1960s, to specific challenges faced by yo-yo dieters, including negative thinking, bargaining, emotional eating, bingeing, and eating out. Beck counsels readers day-by-day, introducing new elements (creating advantage response cards, choosing a diet, enlisting a diet coach, making a weight-loss graph) progressively and offering tools to help readers stay focused (writing exercises, to-do lists, ways to counter negative thoughts). There are no eating plans, calorie counts, recipes or exercises; according to Beck, any healthy diet will work if readers learn to think differently about eating and food. Beck's book is like an extended therapy session with a diet coach. (Apr.)
Kshama, thank you for the book recommendation, I have it in my amazon cart and will order it. That's where my main problem lies is the way I think about it. Once my mind goes on a track there doesn't seem to be any stopping it. Thank you also for the podcast recommendation, and to all who have responded to my plea. Maybe for many of us, it doesn't come down to which way to eat or how to go about it all but how to change our thinking during the process. So much can play a part; our childhood and habits, our emotions and the way we feel about ourselves, the way we handle adversity, determination, strength, our feelings about food and what they do for our bodies(soothe and comfort). Some of us feel weaker during certain times and some are able to never give up. Some of us stick to it for months, years and then find ourselves right back where we started. And these are the things I need to conquer in my own brain.
Right now, my boredom and loneliness(I feel lonely despite living with 2 wonderful dogs and another adult in the house) are dragging me down into a more depressive state. It could be the winter doldrums, having no big goals or daily fun stuff to keep me occupied, being inside more, I really think it's a combination of stuff. Maybe therapy would help but I do know eating more didn't. It only makes it that much worse, piling despair and shame on top of everything else. I take anti-depressants and use light therapy(just started that). But I'm not good at pushing myself out the front into the cold. I tend to be the person hiding under the blankets in the pages of a good book. I'm trying to eat healthy and exercise every day.
Since I don't pay anybody here for counseling, I'll stop now.
But thank you again!!!2
Have you tried journaling? It's not for everyone, but it tends to be my best tool in trying to get myself back on track and dealing with some of the same issues you have talked about.
I also think that joining a challenge group here, if there are any currently active, could be helpful? That's something I did when I first started at MFP early on and really enjoyed it -- there was a lot of setting process goals and talking through what was working and what wasn't and why not with others in the challenge.0
@ReenieHJ If you're the kind of person who likes understanding the 'why' and 'how' of things, I would also recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It looks at how habits are formed and therefore how (to a certain extent) we can be deliberate about forming habits.
I totally agree with @lemurcat2 as well: challenge groups are an amazing way to stay occupied and social (I have some amazing friends whom I've never met because of one challenge I've been doing for over a year...) and to keep having something to work toward once you're in maintenance.
I hope today's better than yesterday. Not sure who said it earlier, but coming off a holiday high is emotionally challenging. The lead-up to an event is nearly always going to be more stimulating than the return to 'real life'.0
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